Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Auditing, Made Easy.


Call Center and Contact Center Customer Service Auditing

Operational Efficiency, Excellence and Best Practice improvements can only be achieved once the opportunities have been identified. The reality is however, that due to the ever changing world of technology, communications and the customers themselves, the metrics that reveal the opportunities are constantly changing and adapting to new innovations, fads and management concepts. When in truth Operational Efficiency, Excellence and Best Practice improvements always need to be at the core of the center's overall strategy.

But How Do You Ensure Operational Excellence?


Although content marketing and curation has alleviated the pain of searching through articles to identify what's new and improved, they are only half the battle. In order to create a transparent vision for the contact center requires an understanding of how the center is operating today and how it stacks up to other centers. Conducting regular center audits are the most effective and most revealing solution, to achieve this goal. Through conducting a center audit, a full 360 degree view of where the business stands today in relation to where they should be can not only provide indications for improvement, but will reveal missed opportunities or new solutions that have never before been considered or discussed.

Now, while stressing the importance of continual center audits, is it also important to discuss the kind of audit one conducts.

"What are you measuring and what are the conditions being compared?" 

"Who are you being compared against, and how robust is the comparison?"
"What are the insights you are applying to your current situation and what are the steps to reaching the best practices?"


Snapshotz™ is the "All In One Audit", the online cloud tool that provides simplicity, clarity and in-depth detail of how a business compares on a global scale.  Unlike no other on the market, Snapshotz ™ provides benchmarking from over 1700 other centers, across 700 data points.  

Read below to see why Snapshotz™ is the tool your center needs to test.

Want More Information/ Have Any Questions?

Snapshotz Consultants

via The Taylor Reach Group Inc.

Extending Their Call Center Consulting Services Further, Growing The Taylor Reach Group

Expanding Their Reach of Consulting Services Through the Addition of a New Expert Consultant

Taylor Reach Group Expands to Quebec

Toronto, ON.

Mr. Colin Taylor, The CEO and Chief Chaos Officer of The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. announced today that Alton Harewood has joined the customer experience and contact center consulting firm effective immediately.


The Taylor Reach Group expands to Quebec, Canada with the addition of Mr. Harewood to their team. Alton is a business and contact center consultant with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Alton has a strategic planning focus, with 250 projects under his belt.

The Taylor Reach Group is excited to have Mr. Harewood join the firm” says Mr. Taylor.  

His expertise and focus in leveraging technology platforms to enhance call center, customer service and sales operations fits directly into the methodology we employ at Taylor Reach. He will be a great asset in identifying solutions for centers, focusing in on technology acquisition, cloud, and work to further clients’ business developments

Most recently, Alton has been involved in working with call and contact centers to extend their reach online, focusing in on analytical and social development to assist organizations in moving to the cloud. His previous roles involved assessing strategic management and process planning for centers, verifying the customer experience gaps existing for clients, consulting on migration to cloud solutions and offering proficient and modern solutions.


Alton lives in Montreal, with his family. He is professionally capable in both French and English. Alton is an avid writer and content curator, maintaining multiple social media networks, all with a “millennial” attitude and runs the Canadian Executive Leadership Group on LinkedIn.

In joining The Taylor Reach Group, Alton is “excited to partner on strategic management consulting, work closely with other team members to utilize their specializations and combine previous expertise with new clientele to further grow both his and Taylor Reach’s Network” 

About The Taylor Reach

With offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe and China, The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. (Taylor Reach) is a leading Call/Contact Center Consulting Customer Experience and Customer Service consulting firm. This award winning company founded in 2003 by Colin Taylor boasts today a stable of Fortune 1000 companies. The consulting staff at Taylor Reach each possess more than 20 years of ‘hands-on’ Call/Contact Center, Customer Experience, Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction experience in delivering effective and significant benefits from Operational Innovation.



The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. – Leaders in Call Center and Customer Service consulting – Bringing Order to Customer Service and Call Center Chaos since 2003.

For more information, visit our website,  The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. or contact Colin Taylor at 1-866-334-3730 ext 102 or

via The Taylor Reach Group Inc.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Customer Satisfaction as a Primary KPI?

By: Turaj Seyrafiaan

checklistThere have always been a number of contact center efficiency and effectiveness indicators. While each has a certain and important role, it should always be emphasized that we cannot analyze these indicators in solitude and need to view them as part of a larger holistic picture. From time to time, however, I have been asked which one of these indicators is the most important measurement for the business? Is there one measurement that a contact center manager can / must follow?
Well, I don’t know if “Customer Satisfaction” should be the only measurement but I do know that it should be the primary measurement. You see, we are all in business because we are trying to generate revenue from our products and services. We are the “Providers” who offer those products and services to customers. Without customers there is nothing for us to offer! We need customers!!
As contact centers play a bigger and bigger role in today’s businesses, their impact on the customers, and as a result on their loyalty to a company, become more and more evident. In fact best-in-class contact centers pride themselves in making the difference and increasing the overall customer satisfaction. Many years ago while doing a benchmarking study; I had an opportunity of discussing the role of the contact center with a senior VP of a multi-million Dollar mail order company. Several of our questions were focused on the sales process at the center, but he simply pointed out that “the catalog does the selling; we are here to serve customers and are responsible for their satisfaction”!! He had clearly understood that without satisfied customers the business could not grow and had entrenched that as the main role for his centers. Don’t get me wrong! They did have all kind of efficiency and effectiveness measurements and he knew his operation in fine detail, but the goal of the operation was to increase Customer Satisfaction.
Impact on Business
In the past twenty years, there have been many studies trying to define the impact of customer satisfaction on long term revenue / profit in more tangible relationship in order to convince those skeptical executives who felt the cost of customer satisfaction would far over weigh its benefits. Majority of these studies pointed to the same conclusion that customer satisfaction matters and can increase both short-term and long-term revenue for the organization.
Here are three of the well known conclusions:
• It costs significantly more (6-12 times) to attract a new customer than keeping an existing customer (“Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied”).
• In a competitive environment, a company with “excellent customer satisfaction” can charge up to 10% premium for similar products and services than its competitor (in other words it take 10% price differential for a “Very Satisfied” customer to consider changing his provider). This premium drops to under 3% for “Satisfied” customers. On the other side, those customers who rate their satisfaction as “Poor” and “Very Poor” will consider a change as soon as similar products and services are available from a competitor.
• Companies that provide multiple products and services can have up to 60% higher revenue from “Very Satisfied” customers than from “Satisfied” customers.
As mentioned all these studies deliver the same conclusion: customer satisfaction is important to the long term survival and growth of an organization. So, if we agree that customer satisfaction is important, how do we achieve that and how do we measure our progress?
There have been many theories around what is it that customers value, and how to increase their satisfaction. In general there are many factors contributing to the customers’ overall satisfaction. These factors vary from customer to customer and from environment to environment but typically include factors such as product (functionality, quality), price, delivery and service. Contact centers don’t have much to contribute to the product itself, price or fulfillment but can have a major impact on the service and this is where contact centers can differentiate themselves while creating wealth for the organization.
Customer Satisfaction is an ART
As a rule, customers’ expectation of a contact center can be grouped into three major categories: Access, Resolution and Treatment (ART for short). “Access” defines how easy it is for customers to reach a center (long wait time or a convoluted IVR certainly does not help). “Resolution” deals with the solutions that were offered / delivered to the customers during their contacts and how easy or difficult was to obtain such solutions (FCR comes to mind). Finally “Treatment” describes how customers were treated during their contacts. Each of these three major categories can be linked back to one or more of the efficiency / effectiveness measurement. For example Access can be linked back to Service Level and ASA.
Customer Satisfaction Index
Having customer satisfaction defined around ART, makes its measurement a lot easier. Typically, contact centers develop a short survey (5 to 10 questions) around these three categories (plus one or two loyalty questions which we will discuss later in this article) in order to measure the overall satisfaction. At the same time a secondary (detailed) survey is developed around each of these categories. These surveys are only used if and when there is a need for more detailed analysis (such as an improvement initiative or investigation about certain category).
Obviously different organizations use different scale for their survey measurement. These scales fall into two categories: Quantitative (such as 0 – 10) and Qualitative (such as Very Satisfied”, “Satisfied” and so on). Quantitative scale is more adaptable for numerical analysis, however, it makes it harder for customers to pick a number that represents their true feeling (for example what is the difference between a “6” vs. “7”). Qualitative scales, on the other hand, provide a better definition to the scale for customers to choose. Regardless of which scale you decide to use, the result can be presented as an index that combines all the results. An index is simply an average of all the numerical results. In case of qualitative scale each grade is given a numerical value in order to cover entire range (for example if the scale has only 4 options, then the lowest grade is 0, the highest grade is 100 and the other two are 33 and 66).
There are still a few organizations who report their result for top 1 or 2 grades only (for example “79% of customers rank their satisfaction as “Satisfied” and “Very Satisfied”). By choosing a specific grouping of the respondent, this method fails to provide a complete picture of what customers (all of them) think as we cannot tell if the majority of customers are “Very Satisfied” or just “Satisfied”. In addition there is no report about satisfaction of the other 21%.
iStock_000015959780_SmallAlthough it has been proven that customer satisfaction can and will lead to higher revenues, there is still the question of customer intention, especially when it comes to the large ticket items such as automobiles. Is the customer satisfaction a valid indicator of future revenues? Would a satisfied customer purchase the same brand when it is time for an upgrade? The problem here is that there are many other factors involved that will impact customers’ intention and as a result even a “Very Satisfied” customer may not become a repeat customer. (Although even in these situations, the probability of a customer becoming a repeat customer increases with the level of their satisfaction).
In order to gauge the likelihood of customers repeating their purchases and becoming repeat customers, many organization – large and small – have introduced one or two questions with regard to customer’s intention, loyalty and potential recommendation to others. When reviewing results from such surveys, we must keep in mind that: a) customers are evaluating the entire organization (including product features and quality, price, delivery and service); and b) customers provide their feelings at the moment of the survey which is highly influenced by their latest experience with the company. Such feelings may change over time depending on more recent interaction with the organization.
Net Promoter
Over the years, loyalty questions have expanded from individual customer’s purchase intention (would you use us again?) to his or her willingness to recommend the company’s products and services (would you recommend us to your colleagues?). The idea here is based on the old adage that word of the mouth is the best advertising. By including the question about recommendation, organizations hope to capture a simple and accurate indicator for future growth.
In 2003 Bain & Company introduced a more formal / structured format for this question and the related analysis called Net Promoter. The survey simply asks about the likelihood of a customer recommending the product and/or service to others on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). Customers with scores between 0 and 6 are considered to be ‘Detractors’ while those customers with scores of 9 and 10 are considered to be ‘Promoters’ (customers with scores of 7 and 8 are considered to be ‘Passive’). Net Promoter Score (or NPS) is the difference between the percentage of ‘Promoters’ and ‘Detractors’. A positive number indicates that there are more customers recommending the company than those who are denouncing it. Clearly a higher positive number indicates higher number of ‘Promoters’ and higher possibility of revenue growth.
Although Bain & Company introduced this metric as the “the one number you need to grow”, there is no statistical evidence that this indicator is more accurate than any other loyalty indicators or for that matter any typical customer satisfaction indicators already in place.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of which method is used to survey and report customers’ intention, there is no question that customer satisfaction has a major impact on future buying decisions either from current customers or their network of acquaintance. In many organizations contact centers are major source of providing services to customers which magnifies the impact of customer satisfaction with the center on the overall survival / growth of an organization. For these contact centers customer satisfaction must become a major goal (if not the only goal) for the operation.

via The Taylor Reach Group Inc.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Brexit – Good for the Irish Tech and Call Center Industry?

Brexit Direction Sign with sky as a background

Which Direction for Tech and Call Centers

By Peter Elliot

As an avid participant in the tech industry for the last quarter-century, I have seen a lot of change. Let me start by saying I do hope that Brexit won’t be of much note as we look back on the UK tech scene in five years’ time. That said, I have not encountered a single colleague who is not surprised, saddened and concerned by the result. Voters expressed their concerns based on emotions rather than economics, highlighting the cultural issues that immigration has caused in many communities, and the perceived loss of control to European institutions. Which leaves UK firms to figure out their own way forward in a new economic and political landscape.
The debate about the UK’s trade and immigration policies will continue for the next few years, and if one thing is certain, the accompanying uncertainty will cause firms to delay plans for change, and this will create recessionary forces in the UK economy.
I have been enjoying the freedom of Europe as a UK citizen living in Ireland for the past 18 years, and I can honestly report life is good here. I heartily sympathise with my UK colleagues who must now deal with the Brexit consequences. Ireland has done well from its EU membership since 1973, and most people here see themselves as European citizens. The recent bailout after the 2008 crash was contentious, however the EU prescribed medicine was taken, and the patient is now healed and active again, albeit saddled with significant debt. Ireland will remain in the EU for the foreseeable future.
Tech businesses here are eyeing the political and economic fallout in our nearest neighbour and, after breathing a sigh of relief that we are still in Europe, are trying to gauge the impact on our own vibrant tech industry.
There have been some knee-jerk reactions from UK tech companies announcing a shift of operations into Europe, and Ireland is well placed to pitch for their business. Others have deferred expansions and some such as Lloyds Bank have downgraded their outlook and announced thousands of redundancies.
Here are some of the main pros and cons for doing business in Ireland vs rest of Europe:
• English speaking
• Excellent education system
• Closest neighbour with good travel links
• Good power and network infrastructure
• Low corporation tax
• Pro-business culture supported by state agencies
• Higher cost base than many eastern European countries.
• Lack of housing and accommodation
• Underdeveloped public transport system
• High personal taxes
So what are some of the likely Brexit impacts on the Irish technology sector?
Availability of skilled staff. UK software businesses who rely upon a steady flow of skilled staff from across the EU are worried about potential impact upon their existing EU workers and whether recruitment will become more difficult when Brexit is invoked. A valid concern because immigration was the major issue in the vote, so the UK cannot allow the current freedoms to continue. These firms may look to relocate or establish satellite operations within Europe, and Ireland is conveniently close and English speaking. Whilst the increase in economic activity is welcome, it will mean increased competition for skilled staff, and potentially more immigration into Ireland.
Access to UK markets. This becomes tougher due to the falling pound, however currency swings are something Eurozone-based firms should be used to. Neither can I see the UK raising tariffs on Irish and EU based services, so whilst competitiveness may be impacted, unless the pound falls further businesses selling unique services into the UK should be OK.
In contact centres, multi-lingual skills are required to service a pan-European or global business. Ireland has been good at attracting native language speakers from across the EU, and conversely it will become more difficult in the UK. Centre operators in the UK are faced with uncertainty regarding current and future staff from Europe, uncertain economic conditions and uncertainty of the suitability of their UK based centres to support a European market. We will likely see more investment in the multi-lingual BPO sector in Ireland, and possibly wholesale relocation of centres into Ireland and beyond. Most multi-lingual contact centres are comfortable with English as the primary language and Ireland is unique in Europe in this respect.
Future Investment and progress. Often overlooked, the uncertainty of the economic environment in the UK may stall investment and expansion for a period of time. Un-hampered by this, tech businesses in Ireland should grab the opportunity to expand and innovate to gain advantage over their UK rivals.
With an English speaking, well educated workforce and pro-business attitude, it all looks good for net expansion of the Irish tech scene. However in the short to medium term, an influx of tech business may create skills shortages and yet more competition for places to live.
If your contact centre business may be affected by Brexit and you would like to discuss options with a truly independent party, contact the Taylor Reach Group Inc. for more details.
Peter Elliot advises businesses on best practices in customer service and data analysis, and with the Taylor Reach Group helps contact centres benchmark, improve, expand, consolidate and relocate their operations.

via The Taylor Reach Group Inc.